Russia puts subsidiary of Ukraine oligarch's bank into administration

6th March 2014, Comments 0 comments

Russia's central bank on Thursday put the Moscow unit of the Ukrainian lender Privatbank into temporary administration, in an unexpected move amid boiling tensions with the new authorities in Kiev.

The co-owner and lead partner in Privatbank is the Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, Ukraine's third-richest man, who the new Ukrainian authorities appointed as governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region in the east of the country.

The move came after President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday launched a stinging personal attack on the billionaire Kolomoisky who he claimed was a "scoundrel" and accused of cheating Chelsea football club owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich in a business deal.

The Russian central bank said it had taken the decision from March 6 to name a "temporary administrator for Moskomprivatbank" in line with the law on the "bankruptcy of credit organisations".

The administrator will check the bank's assets, as set out by Russian law. However the bank carries on working under the terms of its licence.

Putin, who produced no concrete evidence for his allegations, savaged Kolomoisky as an example of the nature of the new authorities in Ukraine after the ousting of president Viktor Yanukovych.

"This is a unique rascal. He even duped our oligarch (Roman) Abramovich two or three years ago... And they make a governor out of such a scoundrel," said Putin.

Pivatbank said in Kiev that there was no economic reason for the Russian central bank's decision to put its Russian unit into administration.

© 2014 AFP

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